Simon, as his recent output shows, knows a thing or two about Mars. He’s even held a bit of it in his hands without realising it – thought to be fair, no one else realised it at the time either. (They all thought it was just yer bog standard meteorite.) So now he’s written a factual account of everything we know or can reasonably assume about the place, from billions of years ago until the near future. It’s all in handy bite-sized chapters of a few pages, so it can be put down and picked up as many times as you want without trying to remember where you’d got to, and it’s packed full of fascinating information. It both makes you want to go there – for all that if the radiation didn’t get you immediately, the silicosis would eventually – and makes you feel that you have.